ALDER: Coastal Northwest United States (Alnus Rubra)
Frequently called Red Alder, Oregon Alder, Pacific Coast Alder
Alder has been on a winning streak for about 15 years and it’s still rockin’. It’s easy on your tools and patience, offers fine and uniform grain, and it’s incredibly versatile. No pitch pockets, closed grain and because there’s no discernible difference between heart- and sapwood, alder takes stains reliably without the frustrations offered by some other hardwoods.
You can finish it naturally to emphasize it’s tan-to-reddish color, or explore deeper colors that mimic more expensive species: alder does a does a pretty fair impersonation of cherry (like cherry, it reddens as it ages). Going for a rustic look? Alder’s dark knots on a pale background will produce quite stunning results.
Here at Valencia Lumber, we offer Alder in thicknesses from 4/4 to 12/4, rough and surfaced, in several grades.
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You’ll want Superior when you need long runs of clear wood (interior doors maybe?). Cabinet grade works for, well, cabinets, where the demand is for narrower and shorter clear faces.